Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Utricularia gibba (Humped bladderwort)
Cressler, Alan

Utricularia gibba

Utricularia gibba L.

Humped Bladderwort, Bladderwort, Conespur Bladderpod

Lentibulariaceae (Bladderwort Family)

Synonym(s): Utricularia biflora, Utricularia fibrosa, Utricularia obtusa, Utricularia pumila


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), HI (I), PR (N), CAN (N)

Humped Bladderwort is a perennial aquatic herb without roots. It has slender stems which may be floating, submerged or creeping along the substrate. The stem leaves are threadlike with hairless margins, alternate, numerous, and between 1/8 and 3/8 in. long. They may be undivided or generally 2-parted at the base and each part may be forked again. The bladders or “traps” are 1 or 2 valve-lidded and borne on leaves that are less than 1/16 in. wide - it is these structures that trap small invertebrates such as insects. Inflorescence have 1 to 4 yellow flowers 6 to 8 mm (¼ to 5/16 in.) long at the end of a 15 cm (6 in.) stalk.

Bladderworts are carnivorous plants with complex modified underwater appendages or “sacs” that trap insects and other small animals; this provides them with excess nutrition which allows them to survive in low nutrient conditions.


From the Image Gallery

14 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: 1-6 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AL , AR , CA , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , HI , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
Aquatic: yes
Conditions Comments: Water must be rich in microorganisms for the insectivorous bladderwort to survive.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Nueces River Authority - Uvalde, TX


Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Utricularia gibba in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Utricularia gibba in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Utricularia gibba


Record Modified: 2023-03-01
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back